By Keri Foy

Claire Butler
Job: Director Public Relations at El Toro, an internet targeting company
Home: Shares an apartment with her best friend and her 95-pound black Labrador, Hadley

Have you heard of Carmen? This world-famous opera spins the tale of a capricious and courageous gypsy girl who just so happens to have traits similar to Claire Butler, so similar that Claire’s nickname became Carmen. But while the fate of Carmen has already been decided, Claire’s future is up for grabs, and she’s laying the foundation for success.

Her parents’ guidance and taking part in pageants prepped this young entrepreneur for “Pageants taught me to be dedicated and hardworking,” says Claire, who describes herself as spunky. “My parents inspire me.” Claire’s parents own a business together and have been married for 28 years.

While Claire has yet to check “running her own business” off her list of life goals, she did start up Purposeful Purses, a nonprofit that gives purses stocked with basic hygiene kits to women who are homeless. “This isn’t the solution to ending homelessness, but it does give hope,” Claire says.

Claire views aging as a “People see it as a bad thing,” Claire says. “To get another year, you get all these experiences and meet more people. It’s a beautiful process.”

It’s during this process (she’s very early in) that she’s realized that people are more alike than different. “You’re in this bubble [growing up],” Claire says, “but you have to expand that bubble. Listen to people. Everyone has something.”

Photo: Melissa Donald 
Makeup: Denise Cardwell at Image Works Studio
Styling: Alissa Hicks